Syrian government reaches reconciliation deal with rebels in Nawa

Posted at 7:16 AM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 07:16:32-04

The Syrian government reached a reconciliation agreement Wednesday with rebels in Nawa, in southern Daraa province.

According to the agreement, rebel forces agreed to hand over “military hardware” followed by the rest of their weapons once ISIS is removed from southern Syria.

Anyone who is unwilling to be part of the deal will be allowed to transfer to Idlib — a rebel-controlled city in the country’s northwest — the agreement said.

It comes after a week of heavy artillery shelling and air strikes from Syrian and Russian forces on Nawa, according to the UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The rebel-linked Daraa Martyrs Documentation Office said 26 people were killed Wednesday in the Daraa countryside.

About 6.2 million Syrians have been displaced since the conflict began in 2011, with a further 6.3 million having fled abroad as refugees, according to a recent UNHCR report.

The city of Daraa, the birth place of the Syrian revolution, reached a similar agreement earlier this month were rebels would hand over heavy weapons followed by a reconciliation.

Those who didn’t want to take part in the agreement were transferred to rebel-held areas in northern Syria. Daraa was one of the last remaining rebel strongholds in Syria.

The agreements will allow hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians to return home, Ibrahim Jabawi, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, told CNN earlier in July.

The Syrian government says its military offensive is intended to get rid of all terrorists from southern Syria, including ISIS.

A string of military victories over the last year by the Syrian army has helped President Bashar al-Assad recapture large swatches of territory, expelling all rebel fighters from greater Damascus earlier this year.